Considering it was the first day of Freshers' week I managed to persuade a whole car of my former ShUOC colleagues to come over the Pennines for Lantern Pike. We left Sheffield with blue skys and a favourable fuel economy; we arrived in Hayfield to pissing rain, much less fuel than I'd hoped and a rather sick Alex who was evidently doing freshers' properly!
I helped marshal the kids' races, pulled off a quick change and by the time we were ready to start the sun had come out. I had that nauseous/nervous feeling where you don't know if it's because you're feeling good or you've not eaten enough before a race and are sickening for something.
Off we went after a few words and no-one seemed to be taking it on - I was cruising with no-one in front of me. I was eventually joined by James Wood (Congleton), Kristian Edwards and a Springfield guy and we headed up to Matley Moor farm 4 abreast. Near the top I was gapped a little, but dug in to stick with them, and I lead as we passed Des at the top of the first descent.
|You can just see the 4 of us at the front. Photo courtesy of ShaunP, Glossopdale.|
|I was in the the lead at some point that was't the start! Closely followed by Kristian, James and Tristan. Photo by ShaunP.|
|Knees intact. Courtesy ShaunP.|
Being on the first weekend of Freshers' week I've never been in a state to race the Stanage Struggle (poor, I know). This year I was determined to, and having offered lifts to some of the ShUOC guys there was no-way of getting out of it. Thankfully the 5 hours sleep gave me sufficient recovery time from the dancing and 8+ pints of the previous night (hey, I can still drink!), but the knee was giving me jip. As much as I wanted to race, and probably could have done, albeit with a reduced capacity, I decided the sensible (but in no way hard) thing to do was to heed the knee pain and nurse my slight hangover by taking some photos.
|Old Housemate Dave Schorah sets the early pace at Stanage Struggle.|